After this week we will officially be halfway through the 2016-2017 NFL season. I’m in 4 leagues & my records are 3-4, 5-2, 6-1, & 2-5. This is around the time of year in fantasy football where people start deciding what leagues they want to focus on & they throw the other ones to the wayside. For me I don’t do that because once 1 person becomes inactive it ruins it for everybody. It’s kind of like when you were in elementary school & there would be that one kid who does something bad & the whole class gets in trouble for it & can’t go out for recess. Don’t be that guy. All my decisions are based on PPR scoring.
Top Performers in Week 7:
Davante Adams (WR, Packers): 38 points
Melvin Gordon (RB, Chargers): 35 points
Andrew Luck (QB, Colts): 33 points
QBs to start in Week 8:
Jameis Winston (vs. Raiders): Winston is coming off a nice performance against the 49ers in Week 7 putting up 26 points. Winston now has 3 weeks of scoring 26+ points. I see another 25+ point performance from Winston this week against a weak Raiders secondary & the Buccaneers may need to throw to keep up with the high powered Raiders offense. The Raiders have allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs so that definitely favors Winston this week. Winston is a QB1 this week with the favorable matchup.
Russell Wilson (vs. Saints): I know Wilson has struggled mightily this season (this is coming from a Wilson owner) & only put up 10 points in Week 7. Wilson this season has been a non-threat in the running game with his injuries he’s had & has only scored over 15 points once this season (30 in Week 4 vs. Jets). If there’s any week Wilson performs well in it’s this week right? Right? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Wilson is playing a horrid Saints secondary this week & the Saints have given up the 12th most points to opposing QBs this season. I’m still kind of nervous playing Wilson even with a very favorable matchup.
Kirk Cousins (vs. Bengals): Cousins has played pretty well this season & has actually scored 20+ fantasy points in 5 out of the 7 games he’s played this season. Cousins is coming off a 23 point performance in Week 7 where he threw a touchdown & ran one in against the Lions. This week Cousins plays the Bengals who have given up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs so Cousins could possibly be in for another 20+ week.
My Star QB of the Week: Aaron Rodgers (vs. Falcons): The Packers seem to be figuring some things out offensively. The Packers are using Ty Montgomery as their RB & that helps Aaron Rodgers immensely in the passing game. Rodgers had a 29 point outing in Week 7 against the Bears & this week he goes against the defense who’s given up the 3rd most points to QBs. The Falcons. I see Rodgers possibly having his best game this season this week.
Under the Radar QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. Browns): I’m not saying you should go out of your way to start Fitzpatrick but if you absolutely need to pick up someone & start them, Fitz might not be a bad choice this week. It has been a roller coaster for Fitzpatrick this season being benched for Geno Smith in Week 7 & then Geno gets hurt & Fitz stepped in against the Ravens to win the game. After the game he talked about he felt the ownership has lost confidence in him & so has the coaching staff so he’s obviously pissed so we’ll see if that helps him rebound this season.
QBs to sit in Week 8:
Dak Prescott (vs. Eagles): Prescott has been nothing short of amazing this season as a 4th round pick out of Mississippi State. Prescott has led the Cowboys to a 5-1 record & has the Cowboys sitting atop the NFC East. This week Prescott will be tested by a tough Eagles defense that has allowed the least amount of points to opposing QBs. I’m not saying Prescott is going to struggle or anything but I do think there’s better QBs to play this week.
Philip Rivers (vs. Broncos): Rivers has been an alright fantasy QB this season scoring 22+ points in 3 out of the 7 games he’s played in. The last time Rivers played the Broncos (which was in Week 6) he only had 13 fantasy points & I don’t see him doing much better this time around. It also doesn’t help that the game will be held in Denver & Denver has allowed the 4th least amount of points to opposing QBs.
RBs to start in Week 8:
Devontae Booker (vs. Chargers): Booker has been the backup all season to C.J Anderson but in Week 7 Booker out touched Anderson 18-16. C.J Anderson also has a knee injury that most people believe will cause him to miss multiple weeks. Booker has looked very explosive in the touches he’s gotten & he looked very good in Week 7 where he had 17 carries for 83 yards & 1 touchdown. This week he plays the Chargers who have allowed the 7th most points to opposing RBs so this could be a big first start for Booker.
Jeremy Hill (vs. Redskins): Hill seems to be a hit or miss RB this season but he is coming off a 26 point outing in Week 7. Hill is sharing the workload with Giovanni Bernard but Hill seems to be the bruising back while Bernard is the change of pace/receiving back. Both guys seem to be solid fantasy plays especially in favorable matchups. Hill plays the Redskins this week who have given up the 8th most points to opposing RBs.
Christine Michael (vs. Saints): The Seahawks offense has looked putrid this season & I believe the way Seahawks can improve their offense is: RUN THE BALL MORE. In Week 7 the Seahawks played in one of the worst games I’ve ever watched on Sunday Night Football. The game ended 6-6 but the Seahawks threw the ball 37 times & only ran the ball with Michael 16 times. The Seahawks need to get back to Seattle football where their run game sets up their passing game. This week would be a good week to run the ball because they play the Saints who have allowed the 4th most points to RBs.
My Star RB of the Week: Spencer Ware (vs. Colts): It seems the Chiefs have found their identity as an offense & it is a run heavy one riding on Ware’s shoulders. Ware has scored 20+ points in back to back weeks even with Jamaal Charles being back from injury. Ware doesn’t seem to just be a rushing threat either with Ware getting 15 receptions for 285 yards & 1 touchdown in the passing game. Ware this week plays the Colts who have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL & a Colts team that has given up the 3rd most points to opposing RBs which seems like a recipe for success for a guy who’s on a hot streak right now.
Under the Radar RB: Jacquizz Rodgers (vs. Raiders): This is all based on the fact I don’t believe Doug Martin will be back this week & it’s unknown when he will. Rodgers has done a good job the last 2 games filling in for injured RBs Doug Martin & Charles Sims. Rodgers has rushed for 100+ yards in both games & rushed for 154 yards on 26 carries against the 49ers in Week 7 so they are willing to give him a huge workload. I believe the Bucs might be down in this game but even if they are forced to throw the ball Rodgers is a capable receiver out of the backfield. Raiders have allowed the 9th most points to RBs.
RBs to sit in Week 8:
Ryan Matthews (vs. Cowboys): Matthews hasn’t been that good this season. He has yet to rush for more than 77 yards & hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 2. Matthews has always had injury & fumbling issues so that doesn’t help his case. This week Matthews is going up against an underrated defense in the Cowboys who have only allowed 2 touchdowns to RBs. I’m absolutely sitting Matthews this week unless you absolutely have to start him in deeper leagues.
Jordan Howard (vs. Vikings): It officially seems like Howard has lost full control of the Bears backfield & was actually out touched by Ka’Deem Carey 11-7 in Thursday’s night loss to the Packers in Week 7. At best this might be a 50/50 split but it went the wrong way for Howard in Week 7. With Jay Cutler coming back there might be less opportunities to run the ball 7 it doesn’t help they play a tough Vikings team that has allowed the 5th least points to opposing RBs.
WRs to start in Week 8:
Brandon Marshall (vs. Browns): With Ryan Fitzpatrick back as the starting QB it does nothing but raise Marshall’s stock up. Marshall has only gotten 2 touchdowns this season 7 has only had more than 100 yards twice but this week he plays against the pitiful Browns. The Browns have allowed the 4th most points to opposing WRs & have given up 10 touchdowns to WRs. Marshall might be in for his best game of the season on Sunday.
Deandre Hopkins (vs. Lions): It’s kind of sad at this point in the season I have to tell you to start Hopkins. It’s nothing against Hopkins though he’s still one of the best WRs in the NFL but his QB Brock Osweiler looks awful & has struggled to get the ball to Hopkins. Hopkins is actually 7th in the NFL in targets but is tied 17th in receptions with 36 (Tavon Austin & Michael Thomas also have 36 catches). If there’s a week he can bounce back, I mean finally bounce back it’s this week against a weak Lions defense that’s allowed the 6th most points to opposing WRs.
Terrelle Pryor (vs. Jets): Pryor has been one of the only bright spots on a dreadful Browns team. This week it seems like Pryor will have Josh McCown back at QB so that helps him a lot. Pryor has had Cody Kessler & Kevin Hogan as his QBs but no offense to them they’re arguably not serviceable QBs in the NFL. With McCown back Pryor could see a nice game especially against a Jets team that has allowed the 3rd most points to WRs.
My Star WR of the Week: Mike Evans (vs. Raiders): Evans has had a great season this year. Evans is currently 3rd in targets so they’re obviously trying to get him the ball & Evans is the 5th best fantasy WR right now. The injury to Vincent Jackson helps Mike Evans because the Bucs don’t have any other viable WR threats so they might throw Evans the ball 50 times a game. Ok, they might not do that but he will see the ball a lot in this offense. This week Evans plays the Raiders who have given up the 7th most points to opposing WRs & with the Bucs most likely being behind in this game they’ll have to air it out.
Under the Radar WR: Stefon Diggs (vs. Bears): Diggs hasn’t been fantasy relevant since his 33 point performance in Week 2. He’s been injured but I believe he’s still the most talented WR on the Vikings offense. I look Bradford having a much better week after he struggled in Week 7 against the Eagles. This week Diggs goes up against the Bears who have allowed the most points to opposing WRs & a Bears team that just allowed 3 WRs to get 10+ receptions in Week 7.
WRs to sit in Week 8:
Alshon Jeffery (vs. Vikings): The news of Jay Cutler really benefits Jeffery going forward besides this week. Jeffery has yet to reach the end zone this season & I don’t see that changing against the Vikings who have only given up 3 touchdowns to WRs. The Bears may need to throw more to keep up with the Vikings this week which could be a good thing but it could also be really bad with Cutler at the helm.
All Chargers WRs (vs. Broncos): I don’t like any of the Chargers WRs this week whether it be Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, or even Dontrelle Inman (in deeper leagues you might have him, maybe???). None of these guys has solidified themselves as the number one guy but if I had to pick one I like the rest of the season it’s Williams. In the past 3 weeks Williams has outscored Benjamin 48-29 & has outscored Benjamin 93-84 this season. This week I’m not starting them unless it’s in deeper leagues because they play the Broncos who have only allowed 1 touchdown to WRs this season.
Jeremy Maclin (vs. Colts): Maclin being a disappointment is an understatement. Maclin has only scored 1 touchdown which came in Week 1 & has only scored more than 10 points 3 out of the 6 games he’s played in this season. The Chiefs also seem to be an absolute run first offense so that doesn’t help Maclin. The Colts have actually allowed the 7th least amount of points to WRs probably because of the return of Vontae Davis a few weeks ago so Maclin is an absolute sit this week.
TEs to start in Week 8:
Cameron Brate (vs. Raiders): The Buccaneers are going to need a 2nd option for Jameis Winston to throw to with Vincent Jackson being out for the season & that just might be Brate. He hasn’t done much fantasy wise but that might start to change this week especially against the Raiders who have allowed the 5th most points to opposing TEs. Bucs are also most likely going to have to throw a lot to keep up with the Raiders so that helps Brate.
Travis Kelce (vs. Colts): Kelce is the only receiving threat I like in this Chiefs offense. Alex Smith has always seemed to look Kelce’s way more than anyone else. Kelce has also been pretty quiet this season especially of late where he’s scored just 10 points the last 2 weeks. This week he plays the Colts who have given up the 6th most points to TEs this season.
My Star TE of the Week: Rob Gronkowski (vs. Bills): Will Gronk ever not be my star TE of the week? Probably not but for a good reason. With Brady back Gronk looks like his dominate self scoring 63 points the last 3 weeks. As a TE. The dude’s a monster. I don’t care the Bills have only allowed the 3rd least points to TEs this season & have yet to give up a touchdown to a TE. They haven’t played Gronk healthy & with Brady yet so Bills might been in for a long day.
Under the Radar TE: Gary Barnidge (vs. Jets): Barnidge has quietly been one of the most consistent TEs this season. In the past 6 weeks he has caught 3+ passes & has gotten 50+ yards too. The only thing is that he’s yet to score a touchdown this year but that could come against the Jets especially with Josh McCown being back. The Jets have allowed the 8th most points to TEs this season.
TEs to sit in Week 8:
Coby Fleener (vs. Seahawks): Fleener this year has been the definition of hit or miss. Fleener has scored 20+ points twice this year but every other week he’s scored 6 or less points. The Saints are at home this week which is good for Drew Brees but they play a tough Seattle defense. If Kam Chancellor comes back this week that makes it even worse for Fleener.
Jason Witten (vs. Eagles): Witten has always been one of the most reliable TEs in the NFL. I kind of look at Witten as the “Frank Gore of TEs”. The Cowboys are playing the Eagles this week & with Dez Bryant likely back I believe Witten will see less targets. The Eagles also aren’t a bad defense & have allowed the 4th least amount of points to opposing TEs & have only given up 1 touchdown to TEs.
DEF/STs to start in Week 8:
Tennessee Titans (vs. Jaguars): The Titans will be facing the Jaguars on Thursday night. The Jaguars have struggled in every facet of their offense. Blake Bortles looks terrible, they don’t use T.J Yeldon enough (in my opinion), & Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns are struggling as well. The Titans are a great streaming defense this week especially if your defense is on a bye or has a bad matchup.
New England Patriots (vs. Bills): The Patriots are rolling right now & I think their defense has been overlooked because of how good their offense has been. The Bills are most likely going to be without LeSean McCoy in this game so that helps the Patriots. If McCoy doesn’t play Mike Gillislee will start at RB who has looked pretty good but he isn’t LeSean McCoy. Who is? With the Patriots offense being able to control the ball the Bills will most likely have to throw it & once you become one sided the Patriots can shut your offense down.
DEF/STs to sit in Week 8:
Green Bay Packers (vs. Falcons): The Packers defense has actually played pretty well this season. They’ve gotten a few injuries in their secondary the past few weeks so that doesn’t help when you’re going up against Julio Jones. This game is probably going to be a shootout between Aaron Rodgers & Matt Ryan so I see a lot of points being put up so I wouldn’t start the Packers defense this week.
Buffalo Bills (vs. Patriots): Do I need to explain this one? Yes, the Bills defense has played great the past few games but this week they go up against some guy named Tom Brady. Rex Ryan always has his eyes set on the Patriots but this game might get ugly, real fast. I don’t care what defense it is I’m not starting them against the Patriots offense with Tom Brady & Rob Gronkowski this year.
5 Fantasy Players To Roll the Dice On Week 1
Fantasy football is all about staying healthy, match-ups and a little bit of luck if you want to win your league. Remember, nobody at work wants to hear about who you drafted in the 8th round, (fantasy players included). One thing you can control however is doing your research and trying to take advantage of match-ups.
It is a given that guys like Laveon Bell, D. Johnson and Odell Beckham are going to be must starts every week. It is the tier two guys you really want to maximize. With that being said here are 5 players you might want to have active this week for your fantasy lineup.
Ben Roethlisburger, Pittsburgh Quarterback – Match-up: @ Cleveland Browns
Big Ben has the best receiver in the league as well as Le’Veon Bell back in the fold and they are going up against a Cleveland defense who just traded away their best player in the secondary. You can count on the usual suspects to eat but if you grabbed Ben in those later rounds he might be a sneaky play week 1 against a defense that will be less than stellar.
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Running Back – Match-up: @ New England Patriots
New England will most likely win this game but look for Hunt to have every opportunity to make plays for the Chiefs. He is Andy Reid’s guy for now and in the past guys like LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles have benefited from being the guy for Reid. He can catch out the backfield which makes him a duel threat even in a PPR league. He’s got a low center of gravity which makes him hard to take down. Put Hunt in your lineup this week.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Tight End – Match-up: vs New Orleans Saints
Last year Rudolph had 128 targets and ranked top four in receptions, yards, touchdowns and end zone targets (11). Rudolph finished second at the position in fantasy points. He is going up against a weak New Orleans secondary so do be surprised if Rudolph grabs a touchdown or two.
Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Wide Receiver – Match-up: vs New Orleans Saints
Last season the Saints had the worst pass defense in the entire NFL (yes there seems to be a pattern here). Diggs is the #1 guy at receiver coming out of camp so look for him to have plenty of targets against a less than stellar secondary. He does have big play potential and two 13 catch games on his resume from last year. I would rate Diggs as a must start this week.
Los Angeles Rams – Match-up vs Indianapolis Colts
Without googling tell who is going to be at QB for the Colts this Sunday? … Exactly. We don’t know either. Furthermore, no disrespect to Frank Gore but is the starting tailback for this offense and this is year 13 for him. The numbers don’t really look good for this Colts offense. So yes, this post isn’t so much about the Rams defense as it is the lack of Colts offense. Defenses are a dime a dozen, pick the Rams up and see what the do for you this weekend.
Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Team PPR
It is almost time for the Fantasy Football drafts to take place and many players are reading articles and doing mock drafts to develop their strategy.
We decided to do a mock draft and give you some insight as to some of the strategy that we use.
We decided to do a 12 team PPR mock draft.
If you are a beginner PPR simply means players get points per reception when they add up the scoring.
Every strategy is different based on where you are drafting and we randomly got selected to pick 12th.
Picking at the end of the first round is both a blessing and a curse because you get two picks back to back but after that it seems like you have to wait an eternity to pick again.
If you find out that you have the 12th and 13th picks your first two selections better hit.
You can’t afford to miss on either two.
Round 1 & 2 … Strategy: Best player available
At this position you can forget about Laveon Bell, David Johnson, Antonio Brown or any of those top 10 guys. Fill your que with players that are typically available around that area. (Jordy Nelson, Devonte Freeman, Melvin Gordon, AJ Green, Ty Hilton).
My pick: Demarco Murray … Jay Ajayi
I decided to go ahead and grab both my starting RB’s. There was still some good pass catchers available but if I focus on that the next round I should still be able to get some quality.
Round 2/3 … Strategy: Best Pass Catcher available.
In the meantime since I have to wait for the snake to come all the way back I’m looking at my targets and filling my que.
Never just wait for the time to go by, always be working the draft pool.
My picks: Golden Tate .. Jordan Reed
I was hoping Brandin Cooks would be here but he got snatched up right before my pick.
Tate is in a very pass happy offense and caught 91 balls last year. In a PPR league such as this he is a good pick for a WR1.
Reed was a top 3 tight end and grabbing a guy like him is just as good as having a WR2 at this spot.
Round 3/4 … Strategy: Best player available.
My picks: Matt Ryan … Brandon Marshall
I typically wait to draft my QB but guys like Brady, Rodgers, and Brees if they are still there in the 3rd or 4th round I don’t think it’s a bad idea to jump for them.
Brandon Marshall will be opposite Beckham in New York but he is proven vet and as a WR2 he seems to be a solid pick.
Round 5/6 … Strategy: Finish out starters / look for depth or handcuffs.
My picks: D.McFadden … Randall Cobb
McFadden will be a starter for the best O-line for the first few weeks of the season.
He should make a good RB3 or even a flex if he gets hot.
Cobb is coming off a 60 catch 4 TD season. If the match-up is right he might be a good flex play on a given week.
Round 6/7 … Strategy: Depth
My picks: Doug Martin … Cameron Brate
Ok these are my homer picks. Admittedly I am a Bucs fan but I think these are quality picks for this round.
Martin will miss the first three games but if he gets that starting job back and holds on to it then I just grabbed a starting running back in the 6th round. Brate will be a solid TE2 this year.
I don’t expect another 8 TD’s but if he gives you 6 that will be good quality at that position.
Round 8/9 … Strategy: Depth
My picks: Phillip Rivers … A. Bolden
Rivers is as about as solid a backup as you can ask for. He is as consistent as they come. Bolden is a bit old but he should still be a serviceable WR.
With Sammy Watkins gone in Buffalo there might be plenty of opportunity for him.
Round 10/11 … Strategy: Best player available
My picks: J. Whitten .. Mohammad Sanu
These are just picks for depth. At this point you just want football players that you wouldn’t mind sticking in on a bye week.
Round 12/13 .. Strategy: Kicker/Defense
I’m a believer of you always save your last two spots for your defense and your kicker. Reason is because nobody ever said that their kicker and defensive team carried them to a fantasy football championship.
My picks: Rams D/ST …. S. Janikowski
I don’t put much research into kickers or defense but I know the Rams have some playmakers and Janikowski has always had a strong leg. That’s good enough for me.
So to recap here is what my starting roster should look like day 1.
QB – Matt Ryan
RB – Demarco Murray
RB – J. Ajayi
WR – Golden Tate
WR – Brandon Marshall
TE – Jordan Reed
FLEX- D. McFadden / R. Cobb / D. Martin (depending on the weekly matchup)
D/ST – Rams
K – Janikowski
QB – P. Rivers
WR – A. Boldin
TE – J. Whitten
WR – M.Sanu
2016 NFL Season Week 17 Pick ‘Em
We are finally here. Week 17. The end of the NFL season and the beginning of the playoffs.
In many ways, other than week 1, week 17 is the hardest to predict. With many of the playoff positions already determined many teams will be featuring backups or young talent in an effort to preserve their stars for the playoffs or to hasten the impending rebuild.
In fact, only a few games this week have any intrinsic value, and those will be highlighted further in the article. So without further ado, let us take a look at how this season is going to wrap up.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore just got eliminated from the playoffs by their arch-rivals and Cincinnati is desperate for this lost season to come to an end. Neither team has anything to play for, neither are going for the playoffs, nor are they jostling for a high draft pick. Both of these teams are in a hellish middle ground that drives sports fans up the wall.
So what this game comes down to is coaching. Who will get their team better prepared and better motivated to finish the season strong. In that case I will take John Harbaugh over Marvin Lewis. I actually am a big fan of Lewis, but Harbaugh is simply better at getting his players to always play hard and play smart.
I like the Ravens to finish the season strong.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
This game is very important to exactly one man: Tom Savage. Savage is not only trying to give his team momentum entering the playoffs, but he is also auditioning for a starting job next season. Brock Osweiler is obviously not the answer and the Texans are not about to sign another high-priced free agent at quarterback. So the Texans have two options: 1) draft a quarterback for the future, or 2) go all in with Savage. The problem is that Savage has yet to show any real leadership ability or offensive flare. The best that can be said is that he is competent.
Unfortunately, the Titans are in worse shape. Their entire offense is predicated on a strong run game supplemented by an accurate passer who minimizes mistakes. Neither of those two descriptors apply to Matt Cassel.
In the end this game will come down to defensive prowess and the Texans have the better defense.
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cam Newton wants this season to end…desperately. I do not care who the Panthers’ face, a Cam Newton without motivation will not be winning many games; especially behind that awful offensive line.
To make matters worse, the Bucs actually do have something to play for. If the Bucs win and the Lions and Redskins lose, then they would make the playoffs as the last wildcard (if my playoff math is correct). But even without playoff implications, Tampa Bay made some great strides this year and the team as a whole will want to keep that momentum going no matter if it is to the playoffs or to next season.
I like the Buccaneers to take this one.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
So the Browns got a win. Makes the rest of the season kind of pointless doesn’t it? If you are going to suck that bad, then make history and be the worst ever. But leave it to the Browns to even screw that up. The Steelers do not have much to play for since they have locked up their spot in the postseason.
With all of that being said, Mike Tomlin has never been the type of coach to lay back. He is very aggressive, and in the words of Herm Edwards, plays to win the game. Because of that mentality the Steelers will win, since they are an infinitely better team at this point in time.
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Yet another game with nothing to play for. The Cowboys have locked up the #1 seed along with the first round bye. The funny thing here is that even if the Cowboys decide to rest Dak Prescott, then that means Tony Romo will get the start. For the Eagles it is damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
I do not think Dallas will rest its guys, but even if they do, the Cowboys will still win.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
Oh dear God, are they honestly allowing this game on TV? The Bills fired the brother Ryan and the Jets at this point in time may be the worst team in the league. The problem with the Jets is not talent or even coaching…it’s heart. It is a team full of individuals. There does not seem to be a unity of purpose and it becomes incumbent on the coach and GM to fix that problem.
The Bills’ problem is a much different one. They suffered a rash of injuries at the outset. Personally I felt that Rex Ryan deserved one more year (not Rob Ryan though). But be that as it may, both of these teams are entering the offseason with a lot of questions.
But as for this game, I will take heart over talent every time. Bills get one more feel good win.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
A major battle between two majorly disappointing teams. The Vikings started 5-0 and then spiraled out of control as the lack of offensive line help and the absence of a run game sunk what was a promising season for Minnesota.
On the flip side, many in Chicago were looking forward to the team’s progression under John Fox. While very few realistically expected a deep playoff run, many were hoping for at least a winning season with momentum heading into the heart of this rebuild.
Obviously that did not come true for the Bears who with a loss, would complete the worst season in Chicago history for a 16-game schedule.
The Vikings have won games based on defense and special teams and this Bears team is completely incapable of countering either of those. Matt Barkley just threw 5 interceptions last week and the Bears’ special teams are amongst the worst in the league.
The Vikings should win this one walking away.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Do not let last week’s performance fool you…the Jaguars still sucks. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut and after four years Blake Bortles finally put together a decent 4th quarter. The sad thing is that even with the inspired play by Bortles, had Mariota not been injured the Jaguars still likely would have lost.
I would not be surprised to see Jacksonville take a quarterback in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft as an insurance policy. Indianapolis has not been very good either, but they at least have a reliable quarterback and in this game that is all they are going to need.
I like the Colts to get the W against the lowly Jags.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Both teams have not only clinched a playoff spot, but both are locked into their positions as well. But here’s the rub: New England is notorious for resting starters. It was not that long ago that Bill Belichick started Doug Flutie in week 17 against the Dolphins and let Flutie do a drop kick.
Conversely, Adam Gase is changing the culture in Miami and is unlikely to rest anyone. I think Gase feels the team has momentum and wants to keep it going into the playoffs.
I expect the Dolphins to play hard and the Patriots to treat it like a preseason game; therefore I am picking the Dolphins to win this one.
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers
There is a lot at stake for the Chiefs here. If the Chiefs win and the Raiders lose, then the Chiefs will be the 2nd seed and get a first round bye. That is huge motivation, especially for a team that has some seasoned veterans on their defense. Kansas City will be fighting hard for that bye.
The Chargers technically have nothing to play for, however; it may be the last game they ever play in San Diego. While southern California is not known for the ferocity of their sports fandom, I have a feeling there will be a good crowd there to send this team off. Furthermore, Philip Rivers loves San Diego and was outspoken in his opposition to the team moving to L.A. and I have a feeling he will come out slinging.
It won’t matter though. I have said repeatedly that the Chiefs may be the most well-rounded team in the NFL and with the motivation to win that they have I can not imagine them losing here.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
Are the Cardinals good enough to score points? Yes, they are? Then they are good enough to beat the worst offense in the league. The Rams offense is an absolute joke and the GM should be on the street right along with their former coach.
Cardinals win in what may be the last game of Larry Fitzgerald’s career.
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
The poor Raiders. They looked like a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl, until Derek Carr had his leg broken. Now their hopes land on the shoulder of either Matt McGloin or Connor Cook. It does not look good.
The Broncos’ offense has been terrible, but they are at home and they have that great defense.
I have no faith in that Raider offense without Carr and their defense is not good enough to win them games. I like the Broncos to win here and cost the Raiders that 1st round bye.
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
The Giants are a better team and if they really want to make a push, then I think they would take this game. That being said, the Redskins can still make the playoffs and I have a feeling that the Giants will be conservative and sit some players, leaving it wide open for the Redskins.
Redskins sneak into the playoffs.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
The Seahawks should rest Russell Wilson and that bad wheel of his, but even if they do the 49ers are not a match for the Seahawks. San Francisco has been horrid this year. Despite the “brilliance” of Chip Kelly they have been one of the worst offenses in the NFL and make no mistake they will be looking for a new quarterback this offseason.
When the only splash you have made all season is your quarterback’s pregame ritual, then you have a lot of work to do. Seahawks win and ease into the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are competing for a bye and have the home field advantage. The Saints are playing for nothing. Drew Brees is a great competitor who will go out and do everything he can to win, but in the end he is leading a team without a defense and a head coach that is seemingly checked out.
The Falcons have been the best offense in the NFL all year long and they shouldn’t have much trouble against the Saints defense. Falcons win.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
This is the game of the week. This game is practically win or go home. The winner is crowned NFC North Champion and the loser will likely be eliminated unless some other teams help them out.
Both of these teams have suspect defenses and are completely dependant on the play of their respective quarterbacks. Matthew Stafford has been incredible, constantly leading his team from behind in the final minutes of games. Whether it be throwing down field or lowering his head and taking on linebackers while running for the first down.
Aaron Rodgers’ accomplishments speak for themselves and over the Packers’ 5-game win streak there has not been a better quarterback in the NFL. This game should be a shootout and should be a great game.
Personally, I am rooting for the Lions, but I honestly think the Packers will win. You can’t bet against a team on a hot streak and there is no team hotter than the Green Bay Packers.
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